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Religious Liberties
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Religious Liberties: Anti-Catholicism and Liberal Democracy in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture

Elizabeth Fenton


This book examines anti-Catholicism’s central importance to the liberal democratic tradition in the United States. Charting the echoes of the Continental Congress’s early characterization of Catholicism as “dangerous in an extreme degree … to the civil rights and liberties of all America” through literary and political texts of the nineteenth century, this book argues that the notions of pluralism and “liberty of conscience” so central to U.S. liberal democracy emerged from a discourse that characterized the United States as “free” by placing it at odds with the Catholic. The book situates a v ... More

Keywords: liberalism, democracy, Catholicism, pluralism, religion, Protestantism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780195384093
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384093.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elizabeth Fenton, author
University of Vermont
Author Webpage